I don’t believe in writing diaries. But since I’m finally penning one, I might as well go through the process of identifying myself. Me was the lead singer of Black Sabbath, often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Heavy Metal’ and the ‘Prince of Darkness’. But what I’m writing about has nothing to do with my vocal abilities. Well, to get to the point, on New Year’s Day I get this call from an official in the Indian Parliament who identified himself as Mr H. “Mr Ozzy,” he said, “we need your advice on how to make proceedings in our Parliament more ruckus free. Your name’s been strongly recommended by our consultants Macchanji.” After I heard him out, I told him that for starters, not to address me as Mister. “The last time that happened was when I was hauled up by a LA cop for over-speeding. It brings back bad memories, you know. “So, H, just call me Ozzy, or, the Wizard of Ozz,” I said, and added, “also, let me tell you, I know nothin’ about the Indian Parliament and how they gig there.” Mr H said he had video recordings of proceedings in the two Houses—he called them Rajya somethin’ and Lok somethin’ and said he would courier me the CDs. “You see, Wizardji, what you have to do is to hear the noise levels and suggest how we can bring some order. That’s the only hope for Indian democracy and our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.” Manmohan Singh? Well the name rung a bell somewhere on E minor. “Is this the dude in a blue turban who has done shows on TV from the White House?” I wondered. Mr H said I was bang on target. Well, after that, I signed off, reassuring him that I would try to help.
When the courier arrived I poured meself a good shot of bourbon and loaded the CD on my comp. After an hour of switching from Rajya to Lok, I understood the problem and knew the solution. It was simple. Whenever a minister/MP from the ruling party spoke, he should be linked to a special sound system which will drown out all noise and interruptions. Rather excited that I had cracked the case, I put down a few points on paper. Let me share with you my recommendations:
- Mikes of members of the ruling party will be exclusively channelled through a console for a ‘front (not sense!) of the house mix’ which ensures 3,000-4,000 watts of noize. There will be no shouting down the show!
- Give the Speaker a system of equal wattage and an echo unit. So ‘Silence please!’ becomes ‘Silence...silence ..silence...please...please... please.’ And that at top volume will truly rock!
- Pass a bill that okays installing strobe lights to liven up proceedings.
After e-mailing these key points to H, I poured meself another shot. But, before I down one too many, let me put this too on record: a few heavy metal bands, who also watched the Parliament CD, called to enquire if parliamentary affairs minister N. Narayanaswamy (who growled his way at the end of the Rajya session) would consider singing for them. And, yes, opposition leaders called, seeking my help with their sound mix in Parliament....
(As imagined by Ajith Pillai)